Tuesday, March 27, 2012

banana+peanut butter=delicious!

anything that combines peanut butter and bananas makes me happy and if you mix chocolate in as well, it can't get much better. sometimes i think i could live off of those three ingredients. 

i found on pinterest some chocolate covered banana bites. after reading the recipe closer, i realized peanut butter was also on the ingredient list and i had to make them asap! you can find the original recipe here

i adjusted the recipe a little to fit my taste and they turned out perfect.

banana bites

2 bananas sliced into bite size pieces
1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T peanut butter
crushed peanuts, coconut, sprinkles... to garnish

melt chocolate and peanut butter for 1 minute in the microwave, mix until nice and smooth. dip sliced bananas in the chocolate mixture {they don't have to look perfect}. garnish with whatever you feel like, i used crushed up peanuts, which turned out great. i placed mine on a plate covered in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer for an hour until hardened. i then placed them in a plastic bag and put back in the freezer until ready to eat.

here is the banana butter from chocolate covered katie that i decided to make. i eat a lot of peanut butter, i think i have an addiction. i thought it might be better for my waste line to make some banana butter to cut some calories. it is a fantastic hint of banana to my peanut butter fix, you should try it! find the recipe here. you can store it in the fridge and it is wonderful on a slice of toast.


Friday, March 23, 2012

a day on the slopes

i had a visitor this past weekend, my mom! we had the best time skiing and exploring around my new city. some tips if you don't have season passes for the slopes... look at pre-sale lift ticket deals. you can find some great deals on lift tickets and rentals if you plan ahead. click here to go to the park city mountain resort site and view some amazing deals. 

my mom and i needed rentals as well as tickets and got ours for only $78 {including rentals}. for anyone who goes skiing, you know that is a great deal! an all day ticket can run up to $96 on it's own without rental, so do your homework.

more tips to save money on a ski day at park city:
-take snacks with you to eat on the slopes {raisins, nuts and fruit are great to fuel up}
-buy a hot drink {or cold beer!} for lunch and save your cash for a big dinner later
-eat at bar boheme, the bar at easy street in downtown{tasty, reasonably priced food with great atmosphere}
-ski on off days if you can {avoid weekends and holidays}

mom & i at the start of our day

the sun came out for us

fresh powder

mid afternoon hot chocolate break

skis at the mid mountain lodge

skiing down

i am lucky to only live about 25 minutes away from the ski resorts. the resorts open around 9am, and it takes a while to get rental equipment sorted, so get there early. i hope to get set up with my own ski gear soon.

if you are not lucky enough to live a short drive from the slopes, look into places to stay in salt lake rather than park city. many hotels offer ski deals and there are city buses that go up to park city. it will save you money and you can enjoy all that salt lake has to offer while you are there!

Friday, March 16, 2012

spinach pancakes

i have been searching the internet, trying to find the perfect spinach pancake recipe to try. i decided to be money smart and use ingredients i already had in my pantry. 

my inspiration came from spabettie originally, which i found on pinterest. i then came up with a recipe of my own to fit my taste.

keally's spinach pancakes

1 cup spinach
1/2 cup flour {flour of your choice}
2 eggs {or egg substitute}
2 T chilled water
1 tsp peanut butter
dash of salt

blend spinach, water and eggs until smooth. add remaining ingredients and mix again until blended together. mixture will seem thin, but it is just fine. i let mine sit about 5 minutes while my non-stick pan heated up. cook like regular pancakes, they only need about a minute on each side.

healthy spinach pancake sandwich

i made a sandwich for dinner using my spinach pancakes. they turn out a bit denser than regular fluffy pancakes, but are great for a savory treat. i added my favorite ingredients to create the perfect sandwich; tomato, cheese and avocado-absolutely delicious

have a happy st. patty's day everyone!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

st. patty's day oats

i really love adding spinach to my smoothies to make them green, so why not add spinach to my oats for a healthy does of iron first thing in the morning?!

i loved the result! it was very fresh tasting and you cannot taste the spinach at all {i promise!}

mine turned out more like a pudding because i blended all my oats in the blender, but you can make it thicker by following the instructions below.

40g of oats
handful of spinach
1/2 ripe banana
1 T plain {or vanilla} greek yogurt
1 T of peanut butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract {can omit if using vanilla yogurt}
1/4 cup almond milk
sweetener: agave nectar, or raw sugar {optional-i omitted}

i cook about 20g of oats in the microwave with extra water and a pinch of salt the night before, and let it sit in the fridge over night. 
blend the refrigerated oats, spinach, banana, yogurt, peanut butter and milk {and sweetener if you are going to use it}. blend until smooth, cook the rest of your oats as usual and mix by hand into the blended mixture. 

garnish with some slices of banana and a dollop of yogurt.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

back it up!!

i am talking about your computer... i was always one of those people that listened to everyone say "you need to back up your computer" and i would say, "yeah, ill get to it one day". i never did back it up, and yesterday, i almost lost everything! 

i went to turn my computer on and got a very scary flashing folder with a question mark in it... all you mac users, if you ever see this, it means your hard drive is failing. don't panic {like i did}. calmly look up your closest mac store, make an appointment with a genius, wrap up your sick computer and take it in for a check up. my mac genius put me in an even bigger panic when he told me i would have to take it to a place that could recover all my data before there was anything they could do, otherwise i would lose everything...
if you see this... take your computer in to the emergency room asap!

i took my mac to simply mac here in salt lake city. they were super nice and checked my computer in to be looked at. thankfully, i got a phone call less than an hour later saying they ran some tests and found some issues with my hard drive and my battery was losing it's life, but my computer was turning on and my data was still there... thank you computer gods! {they even replaced my key board for free due to some cracks caused by manufacture issues}. it didn't cost me one cent!

the moral of my story... back up your computer!! go to best buy, buy an external hard drive. i bought the seagate goflex for mac. plug it in and sync it with time machine {if you have a mac}. it takes about an hour, depending on the amount of data on your computer, and it is totally worth it. my computer is about 4 years old, and my hard drive might crash on me eventually, but i will not panic now, because i have all my data safely stored on my external hard drive! 

sorry for the wordy post... i made st. patty's day oatmeal this morning, ill be sharing my recipe up next!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

training while under the weather

should you train while you are sick? in my opinion, it all depends on how sick you really are. this past week, i was feeling very under the weather and i took a day off of training, i had two rest days and felt a lot better on my next run. i decided that instead of trying to make up for my lost run, i would run a mile more than i was supposed to on my next scheduled run and focus on getting better. 

i also ran my longest run to date this week, despite being sick. 8 miles! i feel like i am on track for a good half marathon. i have learned a lot about running so far, from reading running blogs and from personal experience. some blogs to check out are walk to the mail box and fit chick in the city.

running tips from a beginner:
-make a schedule and stick to it {lots of good sites for this, check out this post}
-listen to your body {if your body screams NO because of an injury or sickness, listen and slow down}
-every one is different when it comes to nutrition {i have learned that i need to eat something before a long run, but only if it will take over an hour, otherwise i run on an empty stomach}
-invest in good shoes {your feet are one of the most important tools in your running, treat them well}
-chafing sucks! {i have learned this the hard way... ill be buying aquaphor and good quality sports bras soon}

i have also learned that you don't have to deprive yourself of tasty foods while keeping up a healthy lifestyle. i like to treat myself and stay healthy at the same time. as you can see, i have posted lots of healthy {yet tasty} recipes and have learned to cook along the way.

this strawberry banana "milkshake" is one of my latest favorite treats. 

frozen strawberries
 one ripe banana
1 tsp of peanut butter
2-3 T of plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup of almond milk {of your milk of choice}
i added some semi-sweet chocolate chips to my milkshake for an extra sweet treat!


Friday, March 9, 2012

homemade hummus

it's march! so in honor of st. patty's day, i came up with a green hummus recipe. i have been wanting to make my own hummus for a while and didn't realize just how easy it is. i always thought it was a daunting task, but with our new kitchen gadget, it is oh so easy!

husband recently bought a cuisinart smart stick, it works great to make hummus. he bought it to make single serve smoothies while he is on the road racing, so ill have to take advantage of it while he is home. i definitely recommend getting one if you make many recipes that require blending. it will save your blender and is a lot easier to clean too.

our cuisinart smart stick
spinach hummus
keally's homemade green hummus:

1 {15 ounce can} of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 to 2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder {optional}
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder {optional-i love garlic!}
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh spinach

drain beans, reserve liquid. blend together all ingredients {except spinach}, slowly adding extra liquid from beans until you reach your desired texture. add spinach and blend again until smooth. 

enjoy with tortilla chips, bread, pita chips... or just with a spoon!

keally's green hummus

Monday, March 5, 2012

for the love of kale

husband and i have added kale as a staple on our grocery list. it is one of those foods that lately has become very popular and i was never interested in eating it until now. leafy greens never really interested me, but now that i realize how many different ways there are to eat them, i think they are delicious.

i found this nutrition breakdown from wholeliving.com 
Nutrition Breakdown
Per 1 cup cooked, chopped:Calories: 36 kcalFat: 0.52 gFiber: 2.6 g = 10 percent of DRI*+Vitamin A: 885 mcg** = 126 percent of DRIVitamin C: 53.3 mg = 71 percent of DRIVitamin K: 1,062.1 mcg = 1,180 percent of DRICalcium: 94 mg = 9 percent of DRIIron: 1.1 7 mg = 7 percent of DRI
i have made lots of different recipes using kale.
remember my green smoothie... it is even better with kale than spinach. and my spaghetti squash pizza that i made for myself on valentines day.i recently made this pizza using whole grain dough from whole foods. i topped it with chicken, onion, and garlic. i put kale on one side with olive oil and pizza sauce and cheese on the other.
i have also made kale chips. they are great to snack on by themselves. or you can enjoy them with popcorn, mixed in dishes, or here i made cheesy baked black beans with avocado and enjoyed them on top of a plate of kale chips!

kale chips:
break the kale leaves from the stemswash and drybreak into bite size pieces and spread on a baking sheetsprinkle with olive oiladd spicesi used salt and pepper and a small shake of chili powder
bake for 15-20 minutes at about 350 Fbe sure to watch your kale chips so they don't burn
enjoy with all sorts of different combos, or by themselves!

Friday, March 2, 2012

homemade lara bars

my husband is a cyclist for the competitive cyclist team. he has to eat a lot of calories to get energy for long rides and all those power/energy bars get expensive! while browsing the recipes section of the chocolate covered katie blog, i came across these

i just had to make them, and they turned out delicious. i was a bit skeptical that they would stay together. as you see below, i put them in plastic bags, weighed them out to about 50g or less and smashed them together while in the bag {they bind together great}. i shaped them into bars and squares, wrapped them in plastic wrap and stored them in the fridge for husband {and me} to grab on the go. 

mixing the ingredients
weighing out the ingredients in a plastic baggie 
shaping into bars while keeping my hands clean
oatmeal raisin cookie bars--recipe found here
hot fudge brownie bars--recipe found here

the recipes for these bars can be found here. i made the oatmeal raisin cookie bars and hot fudge brownie bars. while making both, i used a mix of nuts rather than walnuts {only because i didn't have walnuts at home}. i used a mix of unsalted peanuts, almonds and cashews. also, while making the hot fudge brownie bars, i used dates and raisins. i doubled both recipes, to make more bars and stored them in the fridge. 

i definitely recommend making these bars! 

half marathon training update:
i am up to 16 miles total this week running. i know that is not much compared to many runners, but i am proud that i am sticking to my training schedule {despite lots of snow on the ground at the moment}. i am gradually increasing my miles each week to get up to 26 in my longest running week. speaking of my training, i am off for a run! happy friday everyone :)